A week ago yesterday, my nephew came into the world. I was lucky enough that my sister in law, who also happens to be my very best friend in the entire world, allowed me to be present during his birth. I was very excited during the pregnancy. She told me very early on that she wanted me in the room during the delivery. I was both honored and excited. How cool would it be to witness a human being brought into the world? I couldn't wait. She also wanted me to document it on camera. Woot! That means I get to hide behind the camera. As we neared the date, there were a couple of false alarms. I would sit in the room as the doctors checked her out and the more I thought about what was to come, the more I started to freak out about it. It became this huge thing in my mind. Ugh. No wonder expectant fathers pass out during this ordeal. I could feel that welling up inside. Heh. Well, cut to the final day, one week ago when it was time to happen. We actually almost missed the whole thing, because once it starts, it STARTS! We had been at the hospital for about 36 hours, labor was pretty easy going, and there wasn't a whole lot of progress being made. They started talking about a possible C-section and I was going to be disappointed as that would have meant an operating room and all that jazz. I really wanted a photo of this. It was an opportunity of a lifetime. Standing out in the hall, talking with her 10 year old son, my brother in law steps out of the room and says, "you better hurry up, its happening!" We went from a possible C-section to full blown birthing in about 10 minutes. I rushed back inside, found my camera, and put the right lens on while everything is in chaos. Nurses were rushing around, the doctor was down where he needed to be and things were happening. I was planning on staying up near her head and photographing from her perspective, but that didn't last. I witnessed the entire thing. Everyone was yelling at her, cheering her on with encouraging words. My wife was crying, cheering and jumping up and down. The whole room was filled with chaos and excitement. It was one of the most amazing moments of my life. As she pushed her final push, and he was all the way out, everyone cheered and then got really silent. We all waited for that first breath and first cry. The silence was deafening as we all held our breath waiting for his... Then there it was. Everyone in the room burst into cheers and tears as he started his cries. As soon as he let out his first cry, I snapped my photo, immortalizing that moment in time. As I walked back out to the waiting room, passing the elevators a woman stepped off on her cell phone. I overheard her explaining to someone that grandma had just passed away. It was a touching moment and I felt odd over-hearing it, but I couldn't help but think about the entire circle of life since her and I were at the hospital for two completely opposite reasons. More of that afternoon's photos.